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Reports: Manchester United tracking Villarreal defender with £45m release clause

Solskjaer might be going back into the market for a defender in the winter.
Solskjaer might be going back into the market for a defender in the winter.
ANALYST
Modified 14 Oct 2020, 20:36 IST
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Manchester United are reportedly tracking Villarreal defender Pau Torres. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not opt to sign a central defender in the recently concluded transfer window, preferring instead to put his trust in the players at his disposal.

It already looks like a costly error as none of the defenders at Manchester United’s disposal look capable enough to stand up and be counted.

The Red Devils broke the bank to secure Harry Maguire from Leicester City last summer, and while the Englishman did improve the backline at Manchester United, he has endured a poor run of form since the start of this season.

Maguire has failed to convince fans and pundits that he is the solution to the defensive problem at Old Trafford. The Englishman has also suffered from the lack of a capable partner by his side in the heart of the Manchester United defense.

Victor Lindelof played with the Englishman for the majority of last season, but that was more due to a lack of options than the Swede’s overall qualities. Ideally, Eric Bailly would have been the perfect man to complement Maguire, but the Ivorian spent most of last season on the treatment table.

Bailly returned to full fitness this season and looked sharp before he was put in his place during the 6-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham. Axel Tuanzebe emerged from the youth squad with a lot of promise but has failed to live up to expectations due to fitness issues.

Teden Mengi is only 18 years old, and while there’s no denying his qualities, Manchester United are reluctant to put undue pressure on his teenage shoulders.

As such, talks of a defensive signing in the next window refuses to go away, but Manchester United fans will be pleased with the latest player linked to a move to Old Trafford.

Torres is the ideal partner for Maguire in the Manchester United backline

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Pau Torres has a £45m buy-out clause in his contract.
Pau Torres has a £45m buy-out clause in his contract.

Torres has been linked to Manchester United before and is tailor-made for the Red Devils.

He is a tall, physical defender who likes to dominate the opposition at both ends of the pitch. Even at 23 years of age, Torres is an astute reader of the game, which aids his defensive awareness. He is blessed with speed and is elegant with the ball at his feet, traits that will complement Manchester United’s style of play.

The Spaniard has been linked with big teams in the past and currently has a £45m buy-out clause in his contract. That should not be a problem for Manchester United, who will look at Torres as the ideal partner for Maguire at the heart of the United backline.

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There are also reports that the Red Devils are monitoring Sevilla’s sensational young talent Jules Kounde, however, Torres clearly is the better option of the two. The Spaniard enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Malaga in the 2018/19 season and appeared 36 times for Villarreal last season, even scoring twice.

Torres’ physical presence, footballing IQ and abilities on the ball might be just what Manchester United need at the back. United fans will be holding their breath until January and will be hoping that the Red Devils can secure the Spaniard’s signature in the winter transfer window.

Published 14 Oct 2020, 20:36 IST
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